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Depression

DIAGNOSIS

What Is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn't worth living. More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn't a weakness and you can't simply "snap out" of it. Depression may require long-term treatment. But don't get discouraged. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychotherapy or both.

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What can you do at home for Depression?

Depression generally isn't a disorder that you can treat on your own. In addition to professional treatment, these self-care steps can help:

  • Stick to your treatment plan. Don't skip psychotherapy sessions or appointments. Even if you're feeling well, don't skip your medications. If you stop, depression symptoms may come back, and you could also experience withdrawal-like symptoms. Recognize that it will take time to feel better.
  • Learn about depression. Education about your condition can empower you and motivate you to stick to your treatment plan. Encourage your family to learn about depression to help them understand and support you.
  • Pay attention to warning signs. Work with your doctor or therapist to learn what might trigger your depression symptoms. Plan so that you know what to do if your symptoms get worse. Contact your doctor or therapist if you notice any changes in symptoms or how you feel. Ask relatives or friends to help watch for warning signs.
  • Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs. It may seem like alcohol or drugs lessen depression symptoms, but in the long run they generally worsen symptoms and make depression harder to treat. Talk with your doctor or therapist if you need help with alcohol or substance use.
  • Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, be physically active and get plenty of sleep. Consider walking, jogging, swimming, gardening or another activity that you enjoy. Sleeping well is important for both your physical and mental well-being. If you're having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor about what you can do.

How can we help our clients with Depression?

Depressed individuals often have trouble completing basic tasks. Therefore, home care services typically focus on everyday chores and obligations, personal hygiene, meal preparation and outings. The caregiver can also help the depressed person by providing social interaction and companionship throughout the week.

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